Welcome to one of the top-ranked MPA programs in the country

The KU Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares students for careers in public service, including at all levels of government, non-profit organizations, and public service-oriented private organizations.  Broadly speaking, our MPA program is designed to enable students to explore diverse problems in a diverse world.  It focuses on building students' skills and knowledge in leadership, human resource management, stakeholder engagement, effective public service delivery, budgeting and resource allocation, and policy design, implementation, and analysis.

Our MPA program employs a unique combination of theoretically grounded coursework and practical application.  It is recognized with multiple top rankings by U.S. News and World Report, including a long-standing #1 ranking in local government management.  


City Management Fellowship

MPA students specifically interested in city management are invited to apply to our 2-year City Management Fellowship program.  City management is the School of Public Affairs and Administration's most recognized program and has been ranked #1 in the country by U.S. News and World Report since 1998. 

While admission to the Fellowship is competitive, its small group dynamic provides comradery and peer-to-peer learning and a variety of additional benefits including a one-year internship.  Please see the City Mangement Fellowship section of our site for more information about eligibility requirements, benefits, and application procedures.  


The MPA graduate degree program requires 43 credit-hours of coursework, 31 of which are core courses taken by all students.  The remaining hours of coursework can be used to specialize in select areas of emphasis and are typically drawn from SPAA elective courses or approved courses offered by other KU units.  Check our curriculum or class offerings pages for more information. 

Concentrations and Graduate Certificates

  • Through their choice of electives, students can concentrate in:
  • Sustainability
  • Law and society
  • Urban planning
  • Policy

Or, students can earn a graduate certificate in:

  • City and County Management
  • Performance Management and Measurement
  • Environmental Justice, Environmental Studies, or Environmental Assessment
  • Museum Studies
  • Global and International Studies

Please contact an advisor if you have any questions about our program or would like to plan a visit. 





Application Deadlines

Deadlines follow University guidelines

M.U.P (Master of Urban Planning)
Fall semester: July 1
Spring semester: December 1

M.U.P as International Student
Fall semester: June 1
Spring semester: November 1

City Management Fellowship Applications:  February 1
Summer semester:  February 1
Fall semester:  May 1
Spring semester:  November 1
Fall semester: January 5